Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

I’ve had a ton of people asking me what I’ve been doing since KC.  The week after KC I spent in Shetland with the J&S group.  I will blog about it, but I have a lot to write (and until recently, hadn’t felt like writing all that much!)  However, what I have spent a lot of time doing is spinning.  For whatever reason, I get back from KC and Shetland and instead of the spirit moving me to knit, it moved me to spin.  First off, I plied a bunch of the samples that I had made at KC and Knit Nation (which I will also write about!) I just Navajo plied them since they were already a mix of stuff and I plan on using the resulting odd yarn in one of my scrapghans.  I always make sure that there is at least a little bit of handspun in each one that I make.

Then I plied two bobbins of singles that I had spun (ah-hum) last winter from a fleece that I had gotten at Rhinebeck in 2008.  Now, here’s the ironic part of all of this.  I took two classes on how to spin laceweight this summer.  One at KN and one on Shetland.  When I plied these 2 singles that I had spun last year they came out about as fine at the J&S laceweight.  Doh!  However, I can now spin even finer, so will definitely be spinning more for lace!

Barbro gave both Malin and I a gift of “Wild Fibre Blends”, which is a bag full of bits of silk, wool, sparklies, all sorts of stuff.  You are supposed to card it into something to give you a “wild” yarn.  It’s not something that I would have normally gotten for myself, so I’m glad that Barbro gave it to me as I had a lot of fun mixing this with some dark Corridale.  It made a fun batt which made this:

I also had a batt and a half from Fyberspates.  The half was left over from my class at KN and the whole one I purchased over a year ago at the Ravelry Day in Coventry.  I spun these both up and Navajo plied them as well.

Then I got into a super sparkle batt that I had gotten at Woolfest in 2009.  I learned a couple of important lessons with this one.  First off, a good scale is really valuable when spinning.  Second, do make a test strand when you are plying.  I had decided that this was going to be a 2 ply, so I had weighed the batt and divided it into 2 equal parts which I then spun-up.  So far, so good.  I then plied the singles making a nice enough yarn, but not what I had been aiming for precisely.  I should have just stopped there, and tried something else, but I was fully invested in the path that I had started down.  So I kept pressing on, plying and plying until I got to the end of one of the bobbins.  There was still a few meters on the other one, so I decided to just Navajo ply it to be done with it.  Imagine my dismay when I realized that the Navajo plying was giving me exactly what I wanted!  Doh!  I think that this is definitely one of those “live and learn” moments!

I also did something that I’m pretty sure is naughty.  I was trying to knit a shawl with the sushi roll that I dyed at KC in Jon‘s class and I was getting really annoyed with the little bumps caused by the unraveling of already knitted yarn.  So, I yanked the whole thing out and skeined it and then washed it and weighted it to pull out the ridges.  I don’t think that doing that in itself is all that bad, but the fact that I didn’t knit it straight from the roll makes me feel a bit guilty.  However, it made some really pretty yarn I think!

The Sushi Roll photo I took at Camp

The Sushi Roll Skeined...

...and in all it's bouncy glory.

The other thing that I have been doing is reading, a lot.  I got into the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon which starts off in Scotland and kicks around a lot, but is essentially a Scottish story.  I had heard about it from my German roommates while at KC and decided to look into it.  Well, I’m now on book 5 of the series and given that these bad boys usually run well over 1000 pages… well yeah, it is a bit of a guilty pleasure:-)

*I edited this post to change the title a bit as I realized belatedly that I had already used that one.  Opps!

8 thoughts on “What I’ve been doing lately

  1. You’ve been enjoying yourself, unwinding from the stress and just having a good time! We meant to ask while over there, “Why are you in the UK?” Job? Military? Just because?

  2. hortihoney says:

    Boring reason, the hubby got transfered for his job.

  3. Not so boring really, he has a job. 🙂 How close are you to London? I think we might be back over in about 1 1/2 years. We are planning a trip for when Kim turns 18.

  4. Olebrumm says:

    Wow, you’ve really been spinning. Nice ones! I’ve more or less only been working and scouting…(Now I’m cooking.)

    1. hortihoney says:

      I know, it was so funny that you were e-mailing Barbro and I to tell us that you have a free night!

  5. Kirsten says:

    Do you remember what Stephanie`s friend said about the Outlander books?????

    1. hortihoney says:

      Why do you think I was looking for them all over the place:-)

  6. Barbro says:

    G, you’ve been spinning, I’m curly with envy (yes, curly, rolled up). Nice to read and see anyway, beautiful yarns :)) I’m combing, and combing, and combing the Shetland Superior fleece… Gabaldon isn’t bad at all, no? What did I say LOL

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